Remote Server Sync

Files.com's Remote Server Sync feature give you the ability to push or pull files to or from remote servers.

The remote server types that we currently support include: Azure Blob Storage, Backblaze B2, Box, Dropbox, FTP, Google Cloud Storage, Google Drive, OneDrive, Rackspace Cloud Files, Amazon S3, SFTP, SharePoint, Wasabi, and WebDAV.

A remote sync can be a "push", where files from your Files.com site are transferred to the remote server, a "pull" where files are transferred from the remote server to your Files.com site, or a two-way "sync" where files that are new or changed in either location are pushed and pulled to maintain a synchronized state between the folder on your Files.com site and that on the remote server.

Permissions Required on the Remote Server

Sync requires that the user or service account that you are using on the remote server at least read, write, list permissions on the synced folder and its sub-folders. If a sync is only performed in one direction, read or write permission may be omitted in the direction that isn't being used.

Sync depends on being able to list the remote server in order to know which files need to be synced.

If you do not have list permissions on the remote server, we recommend that you use our Remote Server Mount feature.

To setup a Remote Server Mount to replace a remote sync, create a new folder in the same location as the synced folder and navigate to the new folder. Click the Folder settings button on the top right, and select Remote server mount. Click the Add new remote server mount button. Select the remote server that you are using for the sync, and choose the remote folder. After saving the new remote mount, remove the synced folder.

If necessary, you can then set up an Automation to trigger that files be moved into the mount based on whatever triggers may be required.

Sync Frequency

Sync frequency depends on your plan. Syncs run every hour for customers on our Starter plan, every 15 minutes for customers on our Power plan, and every 5 minutes for customers on our Premier plan.

If you are concerned about timing, we recommend our Remote Server Mount feature (instead of Sync) which provides a realtime view into the Remote Server via a Files.com folder.

With a Mount, files are only stored on the remote server and not in Files.com. All file operations such as upload, download, list, etc. are passed through to the remote server in real time. You will find the Mount option in Folder settings, and at Settings > Integrations > Remote server mount.

Logging and Error Handling

Files.com records a complete log of every sync, including details about which folders were listed, which files were transferred, and which files were skipped.

This information is stored in a text format, and you can browse it via the UI at Settings > Logs > External.

We are working on improving these logs to be a rich format that can be downloaded as JSON.

We provide an API for querying these logs. We are working on the ability to export these logs to external SIEM services for our Enterprise customers. if this is something you would be interested in, please let us know.

When errors are detected in a sync, Files.com will automatically alert site admins via E-Mail. You can also use the External Events API to query for failed external events.

Failures are retried automatically by Files.com. If a Sync fails, it will be logged as an error once all retry attempts have been exhausted. Each scheduled Sync is independent, so one scheduled Sync failing will not prevent the next scheduled Sync from attempting to run.

Data Integrity During Syncs

Due to the wide variety of remote server types supported, Files.com does not rely on one standard method for ensuring integrity during sync. Files are presumed to be synced correctly if the file size and file name match.

If a file is shown with the wrong size, Files.com will attempt to resync the file.

We would be interested to learn about customer use cases where this strategy is not adequate. Please reach out with more information if applicable.

Adding remote servers

Adding remote servers in Files.com is easy. Simply head to Integrations > Sync/Mount to select the type of server you want to add.

Depending on the type of server you are adding, you may need to have different details on hand.

When you select the remote server type, the form will adapt to prompt you for the information needed specifically for that type. Any optional settings for your selected type will also appear on the form.

Adding a Sync

Once you have one or more remote servers defined, you are ready to add the remote server syncs to initiate the operation. You can do this from two locations in the web interface:

  1. From Files, navigate into the folder where you would like to add the remote server sync and click Folder settings > Sync to/from remote server.

  2. Navigate to Settings > Integrations > Sync to/from remote server (here you will need to specify the folder to which you would like to apply the remote server sync).

Click the Add new remote server sync button to reveal the form.

Select the server you would like to transfer to or from by clicking on the Remote server menu.

Sync direction

Next choose your Sync direction. You have three choices:

  1. Push to the remote server: This option uploads files and folders from your designated folder in your Files.com site to the remote server.

  2. Pull from the remote server: This option downloads files from the remote server and saves them in your designated folder in your Files.com site.

  3. Two-way sync: this option checks for new files, deleted files, and changed modification dates on both servers and then pushes and pulls as needed to keep the folders synchronized on both servers.

Delete or Keep after copying

You also have the option to delete files on the source server after a push or pull. Use the After copying menu to select whether you would like files that are successfully transferred to be deleted from or kept on the source server.

Remote path

Enter the remote path to or from which you would like files and folders transferred, starting after the folder/directory your remote user lands in upon authentication.

For example: if the remote server has a folder structure folderA/folderB/folderC, and the user credentials that you have configured your sync server to log in with automatically land that user inside folderA, then to properly configure your sync folder behavior to transfer files to or from folderC, you would enter the path as folderB/folderC.

NOTE: If you are adding this sync behavior from the settings page at Settings > Integrations > Sync to/from remote server, then you will also need to specify which folder in your Files.com site you would like to apply the sync on using the Limit to a specific folder link.

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